Birthdayyyy!! Everyone seems to be saying how lucky I am to be in a foreign country for my birthday but after talking to my Mom on the phone I realized it’s a bit lonely without any of my friends and family here. Anyways!
Tuesday May 3rd was all about the Seafood Exposition. We woke up at about 6 AM, lolled around until 8, had the overpriced hotel breakfast and set out for the show. It takes a train and two metro to get to the convention centre and boy, is it big. Everyone is dressed in suits and we come in black jeans and nice tops. Whoops. Faux pas. There’s not too much to say except we were there for 8 hours… and STILL did not finish looking at everything…
Here’s a picture of some fish stuff on display. Exciting right?
Wednesday May 4 is my birthday!! So it started with the same old overpriced hotel breakfast, then off to the exposition again! Instead of going the way we went, we were suggested to take the airplane shuttle back to the airport and then the exposition shuttle to the show. Bad, BAD idea. We ended up at the airport with little idea on where the shuttle was. It ended up taking 30 minutes longer than the way I had wanted to go.
At least we got to sit in the beautiful sun. It has been consistently beautiful weather here. However, Dad was feeling sick, like he broke his arm, so he was not in the best of moods.
Once we got to the seafood exposition we finished the rest (except Canada) in about 3 hours. It is funny because I think I can now say I have met someone from every single country. It was such a great experience in that aspect!
Here’s right outside the convention. It’s called the Atomium and it was built for the world fair in 1958 or something like that. Pretty crazy eh?
We then metro’d back to Brussels and ate our first Belgian Waffle. It’s not so much the waffle is amazing, (well it’s pretty good), but the fact that they go all out with the toppings. And I just got it off the street! I want to try a Haagen Daaz one before we leave, apparently those ones are amazing.
After dining on Belgian cuisine, Dad was feeling sick still so he went back to the hotel. I was going to accompany him but then thought, it’s my birthday and I am in a foreign country! Let’s go have fun!
My first task was to find a hat store that was somewhere around the Grand Market that had gorgeous hats (think Royal Wedding) that I saw at night when it had been closed. I walked. And walked. And walked for about 2 hours! My mom was trying her best back in Vancouver to try and give me directions but there are so many little roads going in every which way I couldn’t find it. (Until later at about 9PM at night when the store was closed!!! >:O!!!) The one birthday gift I wanted to get myself and it was nowhere to be found :’(
I kept meandering around and then I found this store:
There were about 5 times the amount you see here. All Belgian. The store’s name was in French and I think it translated to “Beer Temple” I am bring back my Grandpa a beer from here :)
Then I walked about some more… I found this place which just looked oh so pretty!
At this point I was getting tired of walking and being alone so I stopped in and got some Belgian fries to kill some time. I was really getting P.O’d at not finding the pretty hat store!!
I then met some English speaking people who were at the seafood show and became friends with them as we walked around looking at truffles and chocolate. I figured out if you go into stores and ask for a sample, they give you an entire truffle! Don’t ask how many times I did that…
They knew it was my birthday and bought me a cherry beer, which slightly reminded me of cherry cough syrup but tasted pretty darn good. Did not taste like alcohol at all!
We drank this beer in the grand market and this was our view from the patio.
Pretty spectacular, eh?
We walked around some more, had some wine, looked in a few shops then had a late dinner.
The dinner was unbelievable. There is a little alley way off grand market where it is all little restaurants trying to get you to come in and eat. We went into one and ordered to first start off with a cold seafood platter. There were five of us and just this platter of food filled us up alone! One of the girl’s took a photo so I will upload it once I get it but it had lobster, prawns, sea snails, crab, oysters, clams, etc on it.
We were really regretting ordering a tray of meat as dinner when out came it along with another tray of seafood! This time we had lamb, beef, chicken, lobster, mussels, white fish, salmon, rice, fries, veggies, bread and so much more! We could only eat, I’d say, about half of it. It was so delicious and beautifully presented. By now it was close to midnight and I knew it was time to head home so I caught a cab with someone part way and then she hopped out and I went the rest home. This was definitely the highlight of the trip as it was such an experience!!
Anyhoo, time to go explore some more!